Wednesday, December 11, 2013 http://www.tnj.com/small-business/helping-hand-key-people-every-entrepreneur-needs-their-inner-circle Small Business
Who do you need on your startups board of advisors?
A regular customer or client can give you valuable insight to how your service or product is being perceived and used. “A customer. A real live breathing, interested customer. For feedback, for focus, for honest input of the prototype, and ideally for the purchase intent letter that will clinch angel funding,” suggests Katherine Cleland, co-founder of the Willamette Angel Conference, Board Member of the Seattle Angel Conference, Entrepreneur, Angel and adviser to start up businesses.
“Someone with deep knowledge of the market. Someone who knows the players, the market dynamics and solution requirements,” notes Cleland.
“An experienced entrepreneur who has done at least one, and preferably more start ups who knows how to get things done on a budget, how to pitch and how to pivot (change strategy when the first approach isn’t working), and is willing to help you do the same,” explains Cleland.
“Someone who will help you build your sales force and sales and marketing materials,” says Cleland. “Unless you’re a natural sales guy, you need someone on your team who will help you figure out how to get the right people on your team to get both clients and investors.”
You don’t want to get caught in a legal bind because you don’t know the regulations. Have a lawyer. “A lawyer familiar with the very complex and now changing (because of the Jobs Act) Securities law,” Cleland points out. “You want to be sure that you are not doing “general solicitation” unless you really intend to, and that if you are looking for outside investment, you are doing so without hamstringing your future growth and future investors.” Don’t skimp on your legal representation.